Chile: the lone star country

Chile: the lone star country

Back during the crisis in 2010 when Chilean miners got stuck underground, many Texans were confused by that country’s flag, which looks almost identical to the Texas flag. The big difference is that the blue field on the Chilean flag doesn’t extend down the left-side length of the flag as it does on the Texas flag. Also the star is smaller, which is appropriate since Chile is significantly smaller than Texas, but Chile, like Texas, features a wide range of landscapes and climates despite its size.   Chile is a sliver of a country, being only 270 miles across at its widest point, but that doesn’t stop it from being chock full of fun sights and activities to pack into a vacation that’s certain to satisfy. Even when enjoying the Pacific coastal beaches that run throughout the length of the country, you’re still a hop, skip, and a jump away from mountains, deserts, glaciers, volcanoes, and rivers in Chile’s southward transition of landscapes. This makes it an ideal country for hikers, and, awakening to this need in 2010, the Chilean government established the Sendero de Chile (the Chilean Trail), a network of hiking trails that run throughout the country.   Getting in, out, and about   For US citizens, a valid passport and the payment of $160 as a reciprocity fee, since the US charges Chilean vacationers to get in here, is all you need for a stay of up to 90 days. At the end of 90 days, or rather before the end, if you wish to stay longer, you would have to cough up another reciprocity fee, which can extend your stay another 90 days. If you stay longer than the time allowed, you won’t be allowed to leave the Chile without paying a fine.   Chile does have strict customs policies regarding the transportation of agricultural products into the country. Even if you carry something as innocuous as a bag of fruit for snacking while on the plane (or later), you must declare it, or you could face a steep fine and possible detainment.   If you have dual citizenship or were once a Chilean citizen who emigrated to the US, you should contact the Chilean Embassy before you leave for there for additional entry and exit requirements. Chile also has strict entry and exit requirements for minors under the age of eighteen. Even if you...

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